Wilko Johnson announced recently that he’s suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer…but the word “suffering” doesn’t exactly seem to apply here.
Johnson, whose early days in the music business were formed by the British band Dr. Feelgood, decided he wasn’t going to let the illness keep him from the stage he loves. Since making the announcement, Johnson has continued to tour (to sold-out shows) and exhibits a frenetic energy while playing, keeping audiences in awe. But Johnson says he’s not trying to prove anything; rather, the things that mattered so much before just don’t have the same power.
“It makes you feel so alive,” Johnson said of learning he had less than a year to live. “Just walking down the street, man, everything looks really intense. Any little thing you look at, it almost gives you a kind of childlike consciousness. I’m a miserable so-and-so. I suffer from depression and everything … but all that stuff whatever it was I used to worry about – it doesn’t matter. What’s gone, what is and what will be, do not matter.”
If anything, the musician’s diagnosis has given him a fresh perspective, as well as a fresh bout of creativity. Johnson says he’s been writing songs again and is looking forward to recording them in what may be his last band session.
‘‘I think there will be an album. It’s going to be rough and ready, because we’ve got about three or four days and we’re just going to go in and to bash it down. We’re not going to twiddle with anything,” he said.
Johnson, who is also an actor and has appeared on the enormously popular series “Game Of Thrones”, is determined not to go down without a fight, and his fans love him all the more for it.